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View Full Version : Hannah's surgery today with Dr Lenke !!! ALL DONE and she is WELL...



gardenia
09-28-2012, 08:29 PM
I have been following Hannah's progress on her CaringBridge Journal. Someone has been very good at doing this reporting. I have copied and pasted all the post to share my my family as it makes it easier to know exactly what is going to happen. Dr Lenke did her surgery and I am sure that Dr Bridwell will be similar.

Please let me know if this is of interest to anyone to follow her progress as I encourage others to do the same and if there is interest, I will have hubbie or daughter to post my progress.

Hannah's situation is: Scheuermann's disease, which is a curvature of the spine similar to scoliosis but instead of being an "S" curve, it's a "C" curve

Day before… Written Sep 27, 2012 3:08pm
Central line is in. I am sore from it. Had some nice sedatives when they did it. But now the lidocaine is wearing off, so I've taken Tylenol and will be relaxing the rest of the day. Now it's time to wait! Praying for good pain management. See you all on the "other side"

Today - Surgery day as reported by family member: Written 13 hours ago
Well, it's about 7 AM here at Barnes Hospital as we wait for our Hannah to go off to surgery. We (Tim, her mom, Christy, and I, Joe) all got here around 5:15 AM to register for the procedure. It went quick as she had preregistered.

• We were sent up to the second floor for her to REALLY get ready for the operation. The registration clerk told us that only two people can be with her at any one time, BUT ..... if the nurse is nice (?) she'll let all three of us stay with her. Ha ! Of course, we got Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) who kicked ME out !

So I went down the hall and found a chair to sit down in and kill time. 30 minutes later, the doctors and nurses flooded her room asking questions and telling her what to expect. They let me back in for that.

Hannah was doing good but was VERY anxious (puked a couple of times)!
We just left her room and headed for the family waiting room as they were getting ready to move her to the OR.

Will keep you informed as the day goes. The operation is supposed to take until 4:00 PM. Long day ahead ........ Prayers !!
---------
Written 12 hours ago
Well, it's about 7 AM here at Barnes Hospital as we wait for our Hannah to go off to surgery. We (Tim, her mom, Christy, and I, Joe) all got here around 5:15 AM to register for the procedure. It went quick as she had preregistered.
---------
Written 11 hours ago
They just called us here in the waiting room. She's now in the OR and -----they're starting the operation (8:45 AM).
----------
Written 9 hours ago
Nurse just called us in the waiting room. All is well 2 hours into the operation.
He told us to go ahead and eat lunch because it would be another two hours before he called us again. Good enough.
-------
Written 5 hours ago
The last update we got was at 12:30 PM. The nurse said that they were in the "home stretch" and that they were just now putting in the "hardware". Hopefully, it won't take much longer. That's all for now.
-------
Written 5 hours ago
At 2:30 PM, Dr. Lenke, the surgeon, came on in the waiting room here and said that
the operation is all over and Hannah is fine !
He was carrying two X-rays of Hannah. One before and one after !
The before looked ..... Bad.
The after looks ..... GREAT !

She's got 2 steel rods and 26 screws ... attached to … or in ... her spine !
We can go see here in about an hour.
She's not in the ICU but in a critical care unit. She doesn't need as much attention as
an ICU patient. That's all for now. Good news, eh ?

king14
09-28-2012, 11:15 PM
Thank you for posting this!!! Congrats Hannah!!! You did it!

tae_tap
09-29-2012, 11:32 AM
Still praying for a speedy recovery!
Tamena

kennedy
09-29-2012, 02:17 PM
congrads hannah

yacpatty
09-29-2012, 06:27 PM
To Hannah and family,

Tears of joy over the good report. Please keep us posted as to your progress.

Hugs,
Patty

golfnut
09-29-2012, 07:28 PM
Thanks, Gardenia, for posting this. Please keep us updated when you can.

Doodles
09-30-2012, 05:12 PM
Thanks for all of this info. It sounds like she's doing great and Dr. Lenke did a great job! Janet

gardenia
10-01-2012, 09:57 PM
I keep reading and following her caring bridge journal. And sharing with all.....


day 4 post op monday by HANNAH

Written 1 hour ago
This morning was eventful because I was back and forth to the restroom, The nurses gave me way too much stool softener that caused a very negative effect. I had my first solid food for breakfast, but only could eat 1/4 piece of toast with water. They started decreasing my IV pain meds and slowly subsituting pill form. Eddie (my nickname for my pain med dispenser) I miss you. I took a walk thru the hall of over 300 ft. Whew! sure tired me out. Tried to stay awake most of the time but had a hard time carrying on any meaningful conversation. Did some therapy with bath stool and walked again. The nurses call me the star of the floor, I am recouperating so well. Lunch consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes, broc, roll, cake and soda. I did take 2 bites of each, dont want to over eat at first. Tim and Dad came by in the evening and mom went home. I would say that I had a full day and need to concentrate on getting some sleep tonite. Peace out...........til tomorrow.

KathK
10-03-2012, 09:18 PM
Hannah,

Loved your "peace out"! You are making excellent progress. Keep up the good work.

Kathy

susancook
10-04-2012, 06:18 AM
I keep reading and following her caring bridge journal. And sharing with all.....


day 4 post op monday by HANNAH

Written 1 hour ago
This morning was eventful because I was back and forth to the restroom, The nurses gave me way too much stool softener that caused a very negative effect. I had my first solid food for breakfast, but only could eat 1/4 piece of toast with water. They started decreasing my IV pain meds and slowly subsituting pill form. Eddie (my nickname for my pain med dispenser) I miss you. I took a walk thru the hall of over 300 ft. Whew! sure tired me out. Tried to stay awake most of the time but had a hard time carrying on any meaningful conversation. Did some therapy with bath stool and walked again. The nurses call me the star of the floor, I am recouperating so well. Lunch consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes, broc, roll, cake and soda. I did take 2 bites of each, dont want to over eat at first. Tim and Dad came by in the evening and mom went home. I would say that I had a full day and need to concentrate on getting some sleep tonite. Peace out...........til tomorrow.

Hannah: Did you write this 4 days postop?? If so, you are one awesome lady! Much better to overdue the stool softener than be blocked up!

Thanks for the posts and so glad that Hannah is doing so well. Such and inspiration! Good thought and prayer coming your way for a continuing recovery. Susan

HannahCP
10-04-2012, 09:53 AM
Hannah: Did you write this 4 days postop?? If so, you are one awesome lady! Much better to overdue the stool softener than be blocked up!

Thanks for the posts and so glad that Hannah is doing so well. Such and inspiration! Good thought and prayer coming your way for a continuing recovery. Susan

Hi Susan, my mom wrote the day 4 post but I told her what to write. Today was my first REAL post and it's taken forever to do.


Here's day 6....I passed *all necessary requirements (walking 300 ft., stairs, some other jstuff etc) , so they let me go home yesterday around noon. Wish I could have stay longer to get more acquainted with the oral Meds and not the pain pump.
*You could definitely tell when it was getting close to time for more pain Meds I get Grouchy .
Settled in nicely. I'll sent a link back photos when uploaded. Time to nap thanks all for the support!

Hannah

Noticing a lot of stiffness in Lower back and atching shoulders. And I am so bloated. Erg..... Any suggestions?

Confusedmom
10-04-2012, 09:56 PM
Hannah,

Welcome to "the other side"! Sounds like you are doing fabulous!! I can't remember your exact fusion levels, but stiffness and soreness is to be expected for a while, as you know. Don't be shy about pain meds right now--you'll need them for a while. The swelling will go away on its own. Drink lots of water and don't eat too much salt, if you want it to go faster. I sweated mine off--bed sweats! Yuck. But you are younger than me, so hopefully that won't happen. Glad to hear you're doing so well!

Evelyn

HannahCP
10-04-2012, 10:41 PM
Photo of the scar:

1376

My fusion was between tT-L3 with smith-peterson osteotemies from t7-12. Not sure if my previous posts stated my degree of curvature. Before: 89 degrees After: 45 degrees. <--Definately ok with that! The scar isn't TOO bad either

I have noticed that I have to consciously hold my head upright, since it wants to go back to it's original spot. Any one else have that issue?

We MAY have gotten the pain under control, but I may not be saying the same tomorrow. We will see. I am SOOO glad that i built up my arm muscles beforehand because for my log rolling it's quit a workout pushing myself up.

I have so much food/water in my body right now (no BM since Sunday or Monday I can't remember) and it has no where to go since I am so stopped up, think I may look into suppositories tomorrow, because my belly HURTS BAD!

I can also tell when I have done too much (walking etc,) cuz my body tells me to slow it down.

Any advice on the little things the following weeks out of surgery? I know talking BM's is weird but man, I look like I am 4 months pregnant with all the fluid/food buildup.

Thanks,

Hannah

Irina
10-04-2012, 11:03 PM
Hannah,

Your back looks so straight! Beautiful!

susancook
10-05-2012, 03:03 AM
Hi Susan, my mom wrote the day 4 post but I told her what to write. Today was my first REAL post and it's taken forever to do.


Here's day 6....I passed *all necessary requirements (walking 300 ft., stairs, some other jstuff etc) , so they let me go home yesterday around noon. Wish I could have stay longer to get more acquainted with the oral Meds and not the pain pump.
*You could definitely tell when it was getting close to time for more pain Meds I get Grouchy .
Settled in nicely. I'll sent a link back photos when uploaded. Time to nap thanks all for the support!

Hannah

Noticing a lot of stiffness in Lower back and atching shoulders. And I am so bloated. Erg..... Any suggestions?

You are amazing! Unfortunately, with hospitals as tight as they are with insurance companies breathing down their necks, I think that they probably let everyone go before they solidly get their feet on the ground. But, the longer that you are in a hospital, the more chance that you have to catch an infection from someone else in the hospital. Also, there's nothing like the comforts of home and your special blanket and pillow and whatever makes you [and me] feel more relaxed and secure. Keep up with the pain med when it's time. If you don't take them, you are more likely to stay in bed more in pain and not move around. Looking forward to the pictures. Day 6 and you did all that above that you mentioned? YIKES! Wonder if they have a slower schedule for little old 66 year old ladies like me!

My guess that some of the stiffness and aching could be from being in bed so much while you recovered. Also, when you have the many hours of surgery, they move you some. Also, to straighten your back, they have to slowly get the rods in a more or less straighten back and that puts great stretch on muscles that tissue that was kind of contracted in one direction for so long because of your curve. Your body needs to get used to it's new position. And you are day 6....it takes a while for everything to adjust. The bloating....are you constipated or have lots of gas?

Take this time to pamper yourself and heal and let everyone else do everything. Naps are good! Listen to your body! Congratulations on doing so well! You are awesome! HUGS...ever so gently... Susan [I am in Fiji doing women's health screenings. My "twisted back" is holding up well, so far!]

kennedy
10-05-2012, 04:32 AM
hannah that really amazing

susancook
10-05-2012, 06:58 AM
Hannah: Your back looks so awesome and straight! Get the constipation under control! The post that you made about being constipated was not there when I replied....the internet in Fiji must be slow to update.

Use suppositories [or an enema if needed, but the suppositories hopefully work] to relieve the stuff in there and add lots of liquid [water is great...fruit juices except natural apple juice which has pectin are usually good], stool softener [Colace is great...get the generic], Miralex [maybe spelled that wrong], fruit [except apples], fiber, etc to keep your bowels going. All of the wonderful pain killers that you need also slow down your intestines and make you constipated! Don't let yourself get really stopped up...prevention is best. And if you haven't pooped in a few days, try a suppositories, don't wait so long! Then continue with all of the strategies to prevent constipation. Iron suppliments also add to constipation if your doctor gave you any postop. Did your doctor give you postop instructions of what to do in case of constipation?

Hoping that you get this problem behind you [pun intended].

Again, hard to believe with the picture that you showed us that you had such a curve!

Take care of yourself! HUGS, Susan

Jenna.KB
10-05-2012, 07:02 AM
Your doing so good.keep up the good work on your recovery.well done you!

golfnut
10-05-2012, 07:30 AM
I, too, felt like I wasn't ready to go home, but my husband said Dr. Lenke feels like we decrease our chances of infection by getting out of the hospital as soon as possible. I'm sure insurance companies are involved, as well. I think most of us have bloating after surgery but it will quickly improve. I had a rough time getting my bowels under control and can just make the same suggestions that others on the forum gave me at the time: magnesium citrate (I chugged this when I was really desparate), hot plum juice-sounds terrible but really not too bad, lots of fruit and fiber, Fiber One cereal, stool softeners .. . It still took me a long time to get it under control. My abdomen pain took my mind off of my back aches. I kept a chart of the times to take all of my meds so that I didn't miss a dose of anything for the first month. I think you're doing great. Remember, this is the worst time and for most of us and you will feel and better with time. Your back looks so nice and straight.

Confusedmom
10-05-2012, 08:48 PM
Hannah,

Are you sure you're still 45 degrees? You look perfectly straight!!!

For me, when the constipation was the worst (early on), I had to take Senna (maximum dose is four a day, I believe), Colace AND Miralax. Make sure you go every day. If you miss a day, increase one of your digestion meds, prunes or something! You can end up in bad shape if you don't stay on top of it. As others said, jump start things with Mag Citrate. The constipation/gas will be painful for a while, but will go away when you're off the pain meds.

Sounds like you're doing awesome. Congrats!!

Evelyn

HannahCP
10-10-2012, 01:29 PM
Thank you everyone for your responses.

Welp having some major problems sleeping. I can only sleep on my back (which I NEVER did before surgery). I just can't get comfortable and annoying the heck out of the husband, since I'm up and down all night.

Anyone have similar sleeping issues? If so, do they go away? Or should I just get used to it...?

So far the scar looks fine, but where they inserted the drains near my back hips/butt area is sore to touch. No numbness anywhere. I have shoulder pain. And my lung is a bit sore at times.

Went on my first walk (down our block and back) with my mom yesterday and that was nice. Also took two trips up and down the basement stairs. Took two naps as well. That was a busy day. I am exhausted today. Pretty weak.

Had some constipation issues that had to be solved with magnesium citrate. Actually waiting for.my next round since its been a few days again. Darn pain pills. I have pain in t2 at the beginning of the fusion and also can feel the last fused vertebra l3 in bed.

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks. Crazy.

There's my update for now:-)

Hannah

JenniferG
10-10-2012, 04:26 PM
Thank you everyone for your responses.

Welp having some major problems sleeping. I can only sleep on my back (which I NEVER did before surgery). I just can't get comfortable and annoying the heck out of the husband, since I'm up and down all night.

Anyone have similar sleeping issues? If so, do they go away? Or should I just get used to it...?

So far the scar looks fine, but where they inserted the drains near my back hips/butt area is sore to touch. No numbness anywhere. I have shoulder pain. And my lung is a bit sore at times.

Went on my first walk (down our block and back) with my mom yesterday and that was nice. Also took two trips up and down the basement stairs. Took two naps as well. That was a busy day. I am exhausted today. Pretty weak.

Had some constipation issues that had to be solved with magnesium citrate. Actually waiting for.my next round since its been a few days again. Darn pain pills. I have pain in t2 at the beginning of the fusion and also can feel the last fused vertebra l3 in bed.

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks. Crazy.

There's my update for now:-)

Hannah

Almost 2 weeks is still very early and everything you speak of is normal. Your body's taken a beating and lots of healing needs to happen before the aches and pains go away.

Now that you're getting out and walking, I suspect things will improve more quickly. The walking will help you sleep, help with your appetite, help with the fusion that's taking place, and help (so they say!) with the constipation. If you're not sleeping at night, can you hold off on your second day sleep and see if that helps? I found the medication zonked me out, but many here find otherwise.

Stretch out those walks a little more each day, but don't overdo it. Listen to your body.

Keep up the good work!

HannahCP
10-11-2012, 10:10 AM
Got this in the mail today..Can't believe the difference!

http://s1257.beta.photobucket.com/user/hcs033185/media/IMG_2018_zps43acf3b3.jpg.html?

Hannah

HannahCP
10-11-2012, 12:11 PM
Hannah,

Are you sure you're still 45 degrees? You look perfectly straight!!!

For me, when the constipation was the worst (early on), I had to take Senna (maximum dose is four a day, I believe), Colace AND Miralax. Make sure you go every day. If you miss a day, increase one of your digestion meds, prunes or something! You can end up in bad shape if you don't stay on top of it. As others said, jump start things with Mag Citrate. The constipation/gas will be painful for a while, but will go away when you're off the pain meds.

Sounds like you're doing awesome. Congrats!!

Evelyn

Hi Evelyn,

My curve was a90degree kyphosis not scoliosis so that is the reason that my correction was to 45 degrees. My scoliosis was mild. In regards to the constipation I have chugged a bottle of magnesium citrate on two separate occasions and that has helped. I, also on senna and colace.

I had a great day two days ago and walked around the block with my mom and did a set of stairs as well as kept busy most of the day. Let me tell you, I totally overdid it and felt terrible ALL day yesterday.

Taking it very easy today. Have to learn to listen to my body.

Supposed to wean off of the OxyContin down to two pills a day instead of 4. Almost out of Percocet so the dr office called a rx of Vicodin. I feel like the Valium and flexerl (muscle relaxers) are doing more than the pain killers at this point. Just sore muscles.

Sleeping is annoying too I can't get comfortable. Feel so stiff and aches if I lay too long. Been up and down from bed to recliner and back. Argh!

Anyway I wanted to post what was sent to me yesterday.

http://s1257.beta.photobucket.com/user/hcs033185/media/Surgery/IMG_2018_zps43acf3b3.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0


Cant believe the difference....

Hannah

king14
10-11-2012, 03:03 PM
Hannah you're doing great!! I just wanted to share my horrible bowel experience (smiley face) my body was not used to taking ANY drugs so I had sleepy bowels after surgery. I had sopositories(sp) numerous enemas, 3 doses of mineral oil, two doses of magnesium citrate, the list goes on.... I finally had to be given a pill for patients who have bowel surgery!!! What I'm getting at is I have found that I have to take miralax every morning, Collace, and walk to make sure I'm regular. I'm also taking iron, so that binds u as well.
As of now I'm off all pain meds, I also found the muscle relaxers to be more helpful to me over the pain killers. I was just taking pain killer At night to help me sleep but have stopped taking that. Since then I have found my sleep to be very interrupted but (for me) I'd rather stay off the narc. Since the surgery i have not slept in the same bed as my hubby. We would be divorced by now, lol. I got a hospital bed N have found that very helpful! He sleeps on he couch (just in case I need anything, he's really wonderful)
I have amazing days, like I could take on the world, and then I usually sleep or lounge the whole next day! My dr told me to remember that my body is healing the equivalent to 10 broken bones... And I have a shorter fusion than u. So take it easy, and enjoy the pampering. Your spine is BEAUTIFUL!!

golfnut
10-11-2012, 08:06 PM
Hannah,
You have to be thrilled with your new back. It looks beautiful. My main concerns after surgery were my bowels and stomach aches and difficulty in sleeping. Things got so much better for me once I could drop the heavy pain medication. It was hard for me to get the right combination of laxatives, stool softeners, high fiber food . . . I either took too much or not enough!

Doodles
10-12-2012, 01:43 PM
Hannah--
Your pictures look wonderful. Congrats! I hope your recovery is a smooth one. Janet

Confusedmom
10-12-2012, 11:24 PM
Beautiful photos, Hannah! Congrats!!!

Evelyn

HannahCP
10-14-2012, 09:24 AM
Not sure what happened to the title! Hah! Must be the Meds...

Thanks for the great comments and support. ;-) so helpful'


Recovery from this is sure like a roller coaster....yesterday I hit the two weeks post-op and have had mostly good days...but today was not one of them. Started great, but then had my first "real" shower and it took every ounce of energy I had, and my husband helped as I sat of the shower seat. I did dry my own hair, so my shoulder blades ache. I am so fatigued from everything that it hurts even to be touched. I have an ice pack I'm using, drinking lots of cold water and just making sure to keep my core temp low as I have a low grade fever.

I just have to keep reminding myself that I need to take it day by day and realize that it's a long healing process. Hard to get use to, maybe today will bE a better day. May try a car ride but not too much,

Hannah

mabeckoff
10-14-2012, 12:08 PM
Showering can be very tiring .

HannahCP
10-14-2012, 12:40 PM
This link should work...

http://s1257.beta.photobucket.com/user/hcs033185/library/Surgery

Confusedmom
10-15-2012, 12:18 PM
Hannah,

What's the fever from? Have you made your doctor's office aware?

Hope you are getting some rest.

Evelyn

HannahCP
10-15-2012, 02:33 PM
Hannah,

What's the fever from? Have you made your doctor's office aware?

Hope you are getting some rest.

Evelyn

Hi Evelyn,

My husband called the exchange after hours the firsttime that it happened. They said it's normal to have a low grade fever but not to worry unless it reached higher than 101.5. It seems like it usually happens only when I "overdo" it. Been doing good today. Trying a new foam pad for the mattress tonight to see if it helps with my sleeplessness. Going on a short walk around the block and then taking my afternoon nap:-) gotta love the recovery process.

Hannah

maggie6
10-15-2012, 09:02 PM
I appreciate you sharing your experience. It is very helpful for me to know what to expect.

Confusedmom
10-15-2012, 10:03 PM
Okay, good. Glad you're on top of it!

Take care,
Evelyn

HannahCP
10-16-2012, 12:19 PM
Well, I survived an entire night in bed without moving to the recliner (with the exception of bathroom breaks and pain medicine intervals). My mom brought over one of those egg crate memory foam mattress pads and we folded it a bit so that my head would be elevated more than before...I had been feeling like I'd wake up and my lungs would be sore - I have always slept on my sides and now that's really uncomfortable, so it's really hard trying to get used to getting comfortable sleeping on my back. So I am happy to say that I think I've found my cure for sleep.

Walked 1/3 mile yesterday with my mom since it was so beautiful outside. We've been skimping out on the walking so we felt that I need to start walking a little more each day. I do feel a bit stiff today, BUT was able to skip my vicodin dose at 10 because I didn't feel like I needed it. I haven't felt bad either. I think I'll still stick with taking my flexeril and valium (muscle relaxer), since I do feel like those are really helping more than the pain pills. Going to try to slowly wean off some of the medicines but only as my body tells me that I'm ready.

Some of my adhesive/glue that had been used to seal my wound has fallen off. (Didn't use steri strips because I have an allergy to bandaids etc). Will take photos and upload later.

Everyone said that it's healing great. Yay! Still having shoulder pain which is normal. But still playing it day by day, because it's a rollllllercoaster.
My first post-op appointment is on November 21st, which will then determine when I am allowed to go back to work. At the moment I get so exhausted so quickly, so it'll take some practice to get ready to go back to work.

I have a few friends coming over to visit tonight, which is good. I just have to make sure that I don't overdo it today, so that I am not a grump tonight!

That's all today. Hopefully I don't have any hick-ups along the way. Day-by-day...Just have to remember that.

golfnut
10-16-2012, 07:42 PM
Hannah,
You sound really good. I was never one to take naps, but truly enjoyed it during my recovery. I also read a ton of books and watched many Netflix movies. I did not feel comfortable sleeping on either side until I was a year post op. I got used to remaining on my back all night, which I never did before my surgery. Keep up the good work!

HannahCP
10-16-2012, 10:22 PM
At about 3 weeks post-op how far were you all walking. The last two days I've walked 1/3 mile and have needed all the pain Meds prescribed. Before the walk today I was able to skip a Vicodin dose at 10am and cut my Valium in half at my noon time. But after the walk, no more skipping doses/ weaning. I needed it all.

Just wanted to see if any others can give their experiences?

Hannah